From the Washington Post Invitational contest, which calls them Merge-Matic Books: Readers were asked to combine the works of two authors, and to provide a suitable blurb:
Second Runner-Up: “Machiavelli’s The Little Prince” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s classic children’s tale as presented by Machiavelli. The whimsy of human nature is embodied in many delightful and intriguing characters, all of whom are executed. (Erik Anderson, Tempe, Ariz.)
First Runner-Up: “Green Eggs and Hamlet” — Would you kill him in his bed? Thrust a dagger through his head? I would not, could not, kill the King. I could not do that evil thing. I would not wed this girl, you see. Now get her to a nunnery. (Robin Parry, Arlington)
And the Winner of the Dancing Critter: “Fahrenheit 451 of the Vanities” — An ’80s yuppie is denied books. He does not object, or even notice. (Mike Long, Burke)
Honorable Mentions: “Where’s Walden?” — Alas, the challenge of locating Henry David Thoreau in each richly-detailed drawing loses its appeal when it quickly becomes clear that he is always in the woods. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)
“Catch-22 in the Rye” — Holden learns that if you’re insane, you’ll probably flunk out of prep school, but if you’re flunking out of prep school, you’re probably not insane. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)
“2001: A Space Iliad” — The Hal 9000 computer wages an insane 10-year war against the Greeks after falling victim to the Y2K bug. (Joseph Romm, Washington)
“Rikki-Kon-Tiki-Tavi” — Thor Heyerdahl recounts his attempt to prove Rudyard Kipling’s theory that the mongoose first came to India on a raft from Polynesia. (David Laughton, Washington)
“The Maltese Faulkner” — Is the black bird a tortured symbol of Sam’s struggles with race and family? Does it signify his decay of soul along with the soul of the Old South? Is it merely a crow, mocking his attempts to understand? Or is it worth a cool mil? (Thad Humphries, Warrenton)
“Jane Eyre Jordan” — Plucky English orphan girl survives hardships to lead the Chicago Bulls to the NBA championship.(Dave Pickering, Bowie)
“Looking for Mr. Godot” — A young woman waits for Mr. Right to enter her life. She has a loooong wait. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)
“The Scarlet Pimpernel Letter” — An 18th-century English nobleman leads a double life, freeing comely young adulteresses from the prisons of post-Revolution France.
“Lorna Dune” — An English farmer, Paul Atreides, falls for the daughter of a notorious rival clan, the Harkonnens, and pursues a career as a giant worm jockey in order to impress her.
“The Remains of the Day of the Jackal” — A formal English butler puts his loyalty to his employer above all else, until he is persuaded to join a plot to assassinate Charles deGaulle.
“The Invisible Man of La Mancha” — Don Quixote discovers a mysterious elixir which renders him invisible. He proceeds to go on a mad rampage of corruption and terror, attacking innocent people in the streets and all the while singing “To fight the Invisible Man!” until he is finally stopped by a windmill.